East of England ambulance chief warns of “intolerable” delays at hospitals in handing over patients

East of England Ambulance Trust CEO Anthony Marsh. Photo: Steve Adams

East of England Ambulance Trust CEO Anthony Marsh. Photo: Steve Adams

The region's ambulance chief warned today that delays in handing patients over at our hospitals were reaching 'intolerable' levels.

December and January have seen some of the worst handover delays ever at our region's hospitals in handing over patients, the East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST) said.

Paramedics lost the equivalent of more than 100 12-hour shifts in the second week of January because of hospital handover delays.

The worst week was between Christmas and the new year when crews spent the equivalent of 150 full shifts waiting to handover patients in incidents 'outside of our control', according to the trust's chief executive Anthony Marsh.

Those delays prevent paramedics from responding to the next call.

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'The delays in hospital handover preventing ambulances from responding to further patients are reaching intolerable levels,' Mr Marsh said in a report which went before the ambulance trust's board today.

In 2014, the equivalent of 2,400 shifts were lost to hospital handover delays, equating to seven shifts a day.

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